Sunday, July 24, 2011

Prince Charming - Psychotropical Heatwave

Remember when you used to like trip-hop? When illbient was a word you saw used in print, when DJ Spooky was new and raw and vital? When Massive Attack and Portishead seemed fresh and exciting, when you would stay awake all night, talking all night to laid-back grooves, secure in the supremacy of yr revolution, in the status of yr heart and soul? Remember when you felt young and sexy and alive and unpredictable? Capable of anything?

This under-appreciated gem from Prince Charming has been my number one, hands down, favorite jam of the last six months. I've returned to its late night, spectral world-beat over and over, an itch that can't be scratched, worried at like a missing tooth, like a buried treasure, a hidden message. Menacing, erotic, imaginative, it will take you places. Heaven and Hell. Nirvana. The jungle. This is proper jungle music, everything that exotica could've been, would've liked to have been. The bass kicks like a cannon backlash, disembodied voices howling like Dante's refugees, like a bathroom seance. Like psychosis. Unsettling, exciting, and entirely out of nowhere. This record came to me as a revelation, out of the blue, never heard of it before. A record of a lost civilization, a true underground document. I cannot begin to express, no matter how hard i try, how vital and real this album is, an underground gem, just waiting to be plucked like forbidden fruit.

As i've been wracked with philosophical revelations, striking me down like the Tower of Babel, as my tiny pathetic childish ego has been smitten, daily, repeatedly, i have returned to this album over and over, slipping on my headphones, roaming the streets like a vengeful spirit, into the early morning hours. Beating my head against the walls of infinity, beating my fists against my head, until i'm dazed and numb, breathing hard, sweating. I've let its basketball beats beat me into submission, sometimes nightly. I learn lessons hard, and i learn them repeatedly. This is the soundtrack of my annihilation, my surrender; until i am nothing more than a ghost with ears.

Haunt me, haunt me, do it again. Come on, let's take a ride. Into the night skies. Where the bats fly. Where the angels cry, where they fear to tread, and yr afraid that yr dead, or worse, that you never lived at all.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Final - Guitar and Bass Improvisations 1

Listening to this record is like floating in a vat of warm gelatin, with occasional seismic reverberations creating ripples on the surface of yr skin. Now stay there 100 years, until yr skeleton drifts away, and you can taste every star, simultaneously.

This is Justin Broadrick's Final project, actually his first musical incarnation, started in 1983. They began as a consumer electronics-like power noise outfit, but have drifted beyond, to make the chillest and most grandiose dark ambient soundscapes. Here, Broadrick is stripped of the tethers of beat and formula, dreamier even than the already somnolent Jesu. Its like Brian Eno producing Skullflower or Stars of the Lid, and it is astounding that these sounds are coaxed from strings. JKB scores vast, inhuman spaces better than any i know, perhaps tied with Brian Williams, aka Lustmord, but more human and with more heart. Its like the humans wrestling with alien presence in Solaris by Stanislaw Lem, which Final also did a score for.

I pick this album almost arbitrarily, as i've enjoyed listening to it a lot in the past few days, and i'm bouncing back into the writing game. I'm a homeless traveller now, with many interesting experiences and revelations, and lots and lots of good music to succor and aid me. I've also been working on 2 other blogs, and hope to have all 3 working together, in tandem, and making some unusual and interesting art and revelations. All the better to eat you with.